Lessons from 6 Months of Partnership

Yesterday, Bobbi and I publicly launched the website for our business, PHOENIX|D. In celebration of launching and also the fantastic response, I thought I would share what I’ve been learning at the helm of a new business with a partner.

Appreciate Each Other

This goes for any sort of teamwork. Sometimes we forget to appreciate the work someone else is doing. We all want to be and perhaps even need to be, appreciated and noticed for the work and contributions we make. Taking a few moments to express how awesome something the other one did is has been important and extremely productive. Often that appreciation turns into a deeper conversation that leads to new ideas. But even if it doesn’t develop into such a conversation, it adds a bit of goodness to someone’s day, and that’s always a good thing.

Touch Base on Expectations and Assumptions

Bobbi and I have been friends for almost 5 years and now we are also in a professional relationship. No matter how well you know each other, each person comes into a professional relationship with assumptions and expectations that are not necessarily a part of a personal relationship. You have to talk about these things as they come up and address them to make sure you’re on the same page. Otherwise it can build up resentment and inefficiencies in your work.

Be Flexible in Your Approach

If you’ve been doing your work for a while, you’ve developed certain routines and ways of doing things. When you start to share this work with another person, you have to take into account each person’s preferences and styles and find a blended and unique-to-you-together way of accomplishing the tasks. This should go almost without saying, but sometimes we are attached to certain ways of doing things and would rather convert other people to it than try a new way. Always be flexible.

You Can’t Control Everything

One of the greatest things about the two of us is that we are similar. It means we get each other really really well. One trait we both have is the desire to control the project. We both want to usually do everything because that way we can make sure it’s being done right. So it’s been a learning experience for both of us to let go in certain areas. Delegation, contrary to what some might think, is not always easy. But an important skill to develop.

Sometimes It Will Take Longer

There’s work that I could have finished in an hour if I was doing it all on my own but has taken 2.5 hours because there’s two of us involved. Sometimes this is annoying. But the reason it takes longer is because now you’re sifting through and evaluating a greater number of ideas. A longer time (at least in the beginning) is a side effect of having more quality ideas. This is okay.
Entrepreneurship is one heck of a learning experience and I’m loving every bit of it. It’s crazy. It’s awesome. And I’m grateful to be doing it with one of my favourite people in the whole world. 🙂